Tuesday, December 22, 2009

is heading to NYC today for an Madison Square Garden voiceover audition!

Monday, December 21, 2009

check out my latest voicever blog post! tomdheere.blogspot.com
Thanks to everyone for their headphone suggestions! I got an Audio-Technica ATH-M45 for $99 at Guitar Center.

GKN Weekly Update 12/21/09

Welcome to the final Good Karma Network Update for 2009! I hope everyone has dug out of the snow and is ready for the holidays.

So, this is the part when I take a moment to reflect on the year, both professionally and personally. Here's the breakdown...

In 2009 I did 97 voiceovers and landed 27 new clients. My revenue increased by 5% (considering the economy this year, I'll take it!). I was also under budget for the year.

Big gigs for 2009 include Nestle, Swiss Air, American Express/Delta, and nine audio books.

We made some strides with Project TERRA and should have our 4 1/2 minutes of video ready sometime in 2010. I'm also banging away at the screenplay and should have it completed soon. Go to www.3ative.com to see some new pics!

On the health front I had no kidney stones this year, I lost weight, and my cholesterol is under control.

I am still what I like to call "clinically single" but who knows what 2010 may bring...?

Overall, 2009 was an incredible year! I would like to thank all of you for supporting the Good Karma Network this year and for your wonderful contributions.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Take some time to reflect on the year and examine your accomplishments. Make a list of goals for 2010, both professional and personal. If you need a hand, let me know. I love making lists!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Don't gloat. A good friend will do it for you. (from the book “Rules for my Unborn Son” by Walker Lamond)

DISCUSS!: How was 2009 for you? What can you do to make 2010 even better?

Have a great week and Happy Holidays!!!
Quote of the Week: Don't gloat. A good friend will do it for you. (from the book “Rules for my Unborn Son” by Walker Lamond)

Friday, December 18, 2009

is heading to Princeton today for another ESL voiceover recording. I hope I can beat the snow heading our way!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

had two recording sessions and a Cub Scout event to run yesterday and today is even busier! Happy Holidays!

Monday, December 14, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 12/14/09

Top o' the morning to you, my little do-gooders! Getting your holiday shopping done?

Last week I did something I don't get to do very often: a home recording session with a phone patch. For those of you who don't know what a phone patch is, it means you're communicating with someone while you're recording. It can be as simple as holding up a cell phone to the speaker to using a high-end system like Source Connect or ISDN. I use Skype and it's great! Anyway, the client was wonderful and I banged out a two page script in two takes.

It did make me re-examine my setup, though. I think I need a new set of headphones. The quality isn't great and the cord is too short so I had to put the speakers in the booth with me, which was a little awkward cable-wise. I'm going to buy a new set this week and I would appreciate any suggestions for a good pair of headphones with a 10 foot cord and an 1/8" jack (or 1/4" inch, I have an adapter) for under $100. Thanks!

TIP OF THE WEEK: Gear is pretty darn important in the voiceover business. I'm not as tech-savvy as I'd like to be, but I'm learning. If you are wary of technology and don't like using computers or the Internet, the VO life may not be for you. I love learning new things and I'm always up for a challenge!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Thank the bus driver. (from the book “Rules for my Unborn Son” by Walker Lamond)

DISCUSS!: How comfortable are you with technology? More importantly, do you like learning new skill sets? Do you have any recent experiences to share?

Have a great week!
Quote of the Week: Thank the bus driver. (from the book “Rules for my Unborn Son” by Walker Lamond)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

check out this Flu PSA I'm in! http://ping.fm/Iw0l0
is going to Princeton today for another Ballard & Tighe recording session!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Your best chance of being a rock star is learning the bass. (from the book “Rules for my Unborn Son” by Walker Lamond)

GKN Weekly Update 12/7/09

Hello on this chilly Monday morning! Gotta keep this one short, I have a very busy day today...

I had an amazing time at the 2nd Annual Voicover Mixer in New York City over the weekend! Over 200 voiceover talents converged on White Rabbit in the East Village for an evening of networking and fun. I got to catch up with many friends and make some new ones. Thanks to the folks at Voice Talent Productions for putting it all together!

TIP OF THE WEEK: It's very important to be an active part of your community, whether it's at work, home, your place of worship, or school. I felt completely isolated until I dived into the Internet, looking for others like myself. It's great to have peers that you can relate to on a daily basis!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Your best chance of being a rock star is learning the bass. (from the book “Rules for my Unborn Son” by Walker Lamond)

DISCUSS!: How active are you in your community?

Have a great week!
has voiceover sessions for RT London Furniture (home) and Ballard & Tighe (Princeton), then a callback for Net 10 (NYC). Busy day!

Sunday, December 6, 2009

had a great time at the 2nd Annual Voiceover Mixer in NYC last night!

Saturday, December 5, 2009

is looking forward to the Second Annual Voiceover Mixer in NYC tonight!
auditioned for a video game!

Friday, December 4, 2009

is hitting Princeton today for another recording session and setting up yet another session for Ballard & Tighe!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

is heading to Princeton today for a voiceover recording session.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

had a great time at the Robert Kiyosaki seminar in NYC yesterday. Thanks for the invite, Trish!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Check out my latest blog entry! http://ping.fm/7tZ4d
If you trip in public, don't blame the sidewalk. Pick yourself up and pretend nothing happened. from book “Rules for my Unborn Son”

GKN Weekly Update 11/30/09

Happy Post-Thanksgiving! I hope everybody enjoyed their holiday weekend, did some shopping, and housed some leftovers. I had a blast at dinner with family and friends.

This holiday weekend was also eventful because I went to my 20th high school reunion!

That's me with my friend Yvonne. Dig the mini-mullet on my name tag!

I can't even begin to tell you what a fantastic time I had seeing old friends and catching up. Everyone was interested in my voiceover career and a few of them said they may have work for me! That was very nice, but I'm not about to tell you to use your high school reunion as a networking tool. A bit tacky, if you ask me.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Those of us who are self-employed train ourselves to look for networking opportunities in any situation. Sigmund Freud once said "Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar." The reunion was just a reunion, a purely social situation. I'm not saying I had to resist the temptation to pass around business cards. It didn't even occur to me until someone broached the subject. I'm just saying there is a time and place for everything.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: If you trip in public, don't blame the sidewalk. Pick yourself up and pretend nothing happened. (from the book “Rules for my Unborn Son” by Walker Lamond)

DISCUSS!: Has anyone ever solicited you at an inappropriate time? How did you handle it?

Have a great week!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Check out my latest voiceover blog entry! www.tomdheere.blogspot.com

GKN Weekly Update 11/23/09

And hello on this Pre-Thanksgiving, Holy Crap Did I Buy Enough Cranberry Sauce Monday! I hope everyone is looking forward to a short work week, lots of great food & family, and of course FOOTBALL! BTW whose idea was it to put my Giants on the NFL Network this Thursday? Shenanigans, I say!

So I had a great audition last Thursday to narrate some audio books. I read excerpts from three stores and I think I did very well. The auditioners were really cool and they were a pleasure to read for.

I did make one gaff, though. The guy who auditioned just before me was a middle-aged, very talented man with a deep, resonant voice. As I was settling into the booth, I said to the auditioners, "I bet it'll be a bit of a shock going from him to me." I was referring to them going from listening to a guy who sounds like James Earl Jones to a guy who sounds like Matthew Broderick. You know, very different voices with a different approach to reading copy. They said he's a great talent and so am I so what's the problem? It came off like I said the last guy is great and I suck, a lame attempt at self-deprecating humor. I explained my "joke" and everything was fine. After the audition they said I'm a great actor and they were very pleased. WHEW!!!

TIP OF THE WEEK: When you make a joke at an interview or audition make sure:

A) It's appropriate, and
B) It doesn't make you or them look like an ass.

Obviously you should avoid jokes involving profanity, politics, sex, race, and religion. Also, you don't want the joke to raise or lower your status/position in relation to your audience. I will always you encourage to break the ice and make things fun. Just be careful where you try to find the funny!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Stand up to bullies. You'll only have to do it once. from “Rules for my Unborn Son” by Walker Lamond

DISCUSS!: Have you ever told a joke at an audition or interview that fell flat? How did you recover?

Quote of the Week: Stand up to bullies. You'll only have to do it once. from “Rules for my Unborn Son” by Walker Lamond

Friday, November 20, 2009

has yet another recording session in Princeton today. A nice way to wrap up the week!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

has an audition today for an audio book publishing company!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Like bad movie lines? Check out my latest blog entry! http://ping.fm/JFMb2

GKN Weekly Update 11/16/09

Good morning on this crisp Autumn day!

Okay kids, no voiceover anecdotes today. I want to share a goofy little hobby of mine. As you know, I collect quotes and post them on this here Good Karma Network thang. What you don't know is that I also collect bad movie lines!

I collect lines or actions that, any time you hear or see them in a film, you know the movie is BAD. I'm talking about some seriously uninspired cliches. My only rule is that I don't collect lines that were made famous by one particular actor/character such as "I'll be back" or "Go ahead, make my day". I just started so the list is pretty small. I encourage you to add to the list. The lamer, the better!!!

Let’s get out of here!
Go on! Get out of here!
Go ahead without me!
What’s going on here?
Whoa...whoa…whoa! (When any child is sliding down something)
According to my calculations…
(Man) Stay here. (Woman or Child) I’m going with you!
I’m too old for this!
I’d like to propose a toast.
Get your hands off me, creep!
We’ve got company…
Something’s fishy…
What are we gonna do?
I’ll see you in hell!
I’m scared.
(Insert name) is my name and (insert profession or activity) is my game!

Well, well, well, what have we here?
Look what the cat dragged in!
What is the meaning of this?
Or what? (Usually proclaimed by school bullies or thugs before they get whomped)
Get them!
Stop them!
Take them away!

(Staring longingly at a photo that has just been picked up)
(Blood splattering on an object to indicate an act of violence)
(Closing a dead person’s eyes)
(A series of quick cuts showing the action hero suiting up for battle)
(Putting a coat on a woman’s shoulders)

TIP OF THE WEEK: I love doing stuff like this! It's easy, it's fun, and it doesn't take up much time. Benjamin Hoff wrote, "If we add up all the rewards in our lives, we wouldn't have very much. But if we add up the spaces between the rewards, we'll come up with quite a bit". Doing things like collecting bad movie lines is one of the things I use to fill up the spaces and strangely enough, it turns out to be a reward in itself. Life isn't birthdays and bar mitzvahs. It's about all the space in between. Use it well.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it. Walker Lamond, "Rules for my Unborn Son"

DISCUSS!: What small, fun things can do you do to fill the spaces?

Have a great week!
is heading to Princeton today for another voiceover recording session!
Quote of the Week: After writing an angry email, read it carefully. Then delete it. Walker Lamond, "Rules for my Unborn Son"

Friday, November 13, 2009

is going to Princeton today for a voiceover recording session. I always look forward to it!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Check out my voiceover latest blog entry! http://ping.fm/Wy1pk

GKN Weekly Update 11/9/09

Good morning to you on this surprisingly warm Monday! It will probably be the last one for a while so enjoy it...

As many of you know, I HATE cold calls! So I came up with a way to make it more fun. This is the game I've been playing: my goal is to have a Golden Client in every state. When I say "Golden Client" I mean a company who likes my voiceover demo and will keep it on file to be considered for future projects (thanks to Dan Duckworth of Voiceovers Unlimited calls for coining that phrase!). So far I'm up to 44! Here are the remaining six states:

South Carolina
West Virginia

I'll let you know when I hit 50!

TIP OF THE WEEK: Many things we do in our jobs/careers are categorized as "necessary evils". Some of them are small & annoying, others can turn into phobias or even make you quit your job. Remember: you can't control the world, you can only control your reaction to the world. With that in mind, try to come up with ways to make those "necessary evils" feel a bit less evil. Make a game out of it or turn it into a competition with yourself or a co-worker.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis Presley

DISCUSS!: What can you do to make your job more enjoyable? How can you make it fun for yourself?

Have a great week!
Quote of the Week: When things go wrong, don’t go with them. Elvis Presley

Monday, November 2, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 11/2/09

Happy Halloween!!!

I hope everyone had a fun, safe, and loot-ridden weekend. I went to my friend Jim's house Saturday night for a party. I dressed up as Earl Hickey from "My Name is Earl". I wrote the list, grew a mustache (that took a month!), and made sure my eyes were closed every time my picture was taken. Go to my Facebook profile to see what I looked like (and yes Jerry, my eyes are open there, I was trying to pose like he does at the beginning of the show!)

So, I start working at Awareness Audio Books next week. I'm pretty excited! They're going to schedule a rehearsal to help determine which parts the cast will play and then record later in the week. I've never been to a voiceover rehearsal before. These audio books are more like audio dramas or radio plays so it makes sense. Also, my guess is that since this is their first time working with the cast they want to get to know us and get a feel for what we can do. I'm looking forward to the process!

TIP OF THE WEEK: I've been doing voiceovers for over thirteen years now and I love it when I have a new experience in the industry, like I will next week for Awareness. I've learned over the years to enjoy working out of my comfort zone. It kick-starts your brain and makes you re-examine your behavior. It's very healthy and I strongly suggest you do the same from time to time!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: ...if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best. Marilyn Monroe

DISCUSS!: When was the last time you worked out of your comfort zone? Did you learn anything?

Have a great week!
Quote of the Week: ...if you can't handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don't deserve me at my best. Marilyn Monroe

Thursday, October 29, 2009

I'm gonna be Earl from My Name is Earl for Halloween. How do I style my hair like his?

Monday, October 26, 2009

check out my latest blog entry! http://ping.fm/Wbpdt

GKN Weekly Update 10/26/09

Happy Old Daylight Savings Time Day! How do I know this? The clock on my VCR went back an hour and for the life of me I can't fix it! When is the new one?

Anyway, I've noticed that I've been recording from home a lot more than I used to, at least in the past two months. I audition online, I record the files in my home studio aka my padded-down front closet, edit it, save it, and email it to the client. More often than not I get paid via PayPal, which means no trip to the bank. So I look for work, get work, and get paid for work without having the leave the house! Pretty nice, huh?

However, I make it a point to exercise, shower, eat, get dressed, and make sure I'm at my desk & ready to go by 9AM. Why? This is a job, just like any other. Also, I feel more energized & productive if I'm...presentable. I think that's the right word. Maybe professional? Something like that. Anyway, the days I don't do that I get less work done. Weird, huh?

TIP OF THE WEEK: Do whatever you need to do to be as prepared and motivated as possible for your day. If you feel like you aren't, change your routine, maybe even your diet. Find the right formula to put you at your best!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: We are not here to curse the darkness, we are here to light a candle. John F. Kennedy

(BTW I had to go back to the top of my quote list because I ran out. I have 195!)

DISCUSS!: Do you work from home? What do you do to get yourself ready for the day?

Have a great week!

Friday, October 23, 2009

just recorded four spots for Luna Furniture. "Everything must go!!!"
has another voiceover in Princeton today. It's chillier than last time but it's still a nice drive!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

has a recording session in Princeton today. Great driving weather!

Monday, October 19, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 10/19/09

Good morning!

I hope everyone got through the weekend warm & dry.

So, I have a new voiceover client. It's a local production company who makes some high-quality commercials for local cable stations. My contact there is Russian (my favorite accent of all time!) and so are all of the companies I have lent my voice to through him. He's a great guy and pays very quickly (yay PayPal!). The scripts have been translated from Russian as well. Some of the sentences have been a bit clunky and other have been nigh unreadable for an English speaking audience.

I have offered to clean up the scripts a bit. My contact has always been happy to take my revisions to the company in question to see what they think. Sometimes they said yes, sometimes no. So, the challenge has been to narrate scripts that aren't grammatically correct. I discovered that if you phrase the sentences in certain ways you can navigate most of the grammar oversights.

TIP OF THE WEEK: In the story I just shared, collaboration works for some of the companies and not for others. Everything has been fine with this particular client, but not all clients are like this. Be careful not to step on any body's toes. In other words, writing the script is not your job. Your job is to make script sound great, period.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. Bill Cosby

DISCUSS!: Have you ever had a well-intended script suggestion go horribly wrong?

Have a great week!
Quote of the Week: I don’t know the key to success, but the key to failure is trying to please everybody. Bill Cosby

Monday, October 12, 2009

is now a narrator for Awareness Audio Books!

GKN Weekly Update 10/12/09

Happy Columbus Day! Is this the one where they have all the white sales? I get them mixed up...

For those of you who didn't catch one of my Tweet/Feed/Status Update things today, I was recently informed that I am now on the roster of Awareness Audio Books. They're based in Pennsylvania and focus on stories about addiction and substance abuse. I haven't been so excited since I landed that Danielle Steel audio book!

Many people have asked me how I landed the Danielle Steel gig. Simple: I cold-called just about every single listing in the Audio Publishers Association directory! It took a long time but it was well worth it. That's also how I got connected with Infinivox, who just today sent me my copies of their two newest publications which I had the privilege of being a part of: "The Year's Top Ten Tales of Science Fiction" and "Aliens Rule". I narrated eight stories for the first one and one for the second.

TIP OF THE WEEK: I narrate audio books because I decided that this is something I really, REALLY want to do. Once the decision was made, I made some online inquiries, read articles, and hunted for lists of contacts to cold-call. It took a long time and was a big ole' pain in the rump, but eventually it worked. Why was I so motivated? Because I try very hard not to be the guy that waddles up to your cubicle at the office and says "Gee, I wish I was in Hawaii" and then try to make you unhappy, too. If I want to go to Hawaii, then I'm gonna save up, find a good travel agent, and make it happen! Don't be that guy.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: (Campaign Slogan) We Polked you in ’44, we shall Pierce you in ’52. Franklin Pierce

DISCUSS!: What is the one thing you want that you know you can achieve, but never got the resolve do to? How can you make it happen?

Have a great week!
Quote of the Week: (Campaign Slogan) We Polked you in ’44, we shall Pierce you in ’52. Franklin Pierce
check out this commercial with me and my friend Trish Basanyi! http://ping.fm/ZZloh

Friday, October 9, 2009

had an AFLAC VO audition in NYC, a Project TERRA conference call, and a VO in Princeton today. Whew!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

I got my second IMDB credit! http://ping.fm/diDAS
did another voiceover for the University of California Irvine. Thanks, Janet!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Does anyone know of an agency that represents lecturers and speakers?

Monday, October 5, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 10/5/09

Happy October! Al Roker has issued a Tweed Alert (does anyone under the age of 50 even wear that stuff?) and I'm sportin' my flannel today.

Last week I had a recording session at Full House Productions (insert Bob Saget joke here) for Oxford University Press as a test narrator. The session lasted a grand total of five minutes! Basically I had to count to ten, read some test headings, and that was it. Then I had lunch with my friend Jessica at a cafe down the street from the studio. We had a great conversation about film, politics, etc. On top of all that, the weather was perfect that day. Seriously, what more could you ask for?

It's very easy to get caught up in the day-to-day minutia of life. I'm very grateful that I have my health, good friends, and a career that I love. Days like that serve to remind me of how good I have it.

TIP OF THE WEEK: It's cliche, but it's always worth repeating: count your blessings!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots. Frank A. Clark

DISCUSS!: Are you doing what you want with your life? When was the last time you took a moment to stop and be thankful for what you have?

Have a great week!
Quote of the Week: Criticism, like rain, should be gentle enough to nourish a man’s growth without destroying his roots. Frank A. Clark

Thursday, October 1, 2009

will be recording tomorrow (Fri) in NYC at 1PM. I have a lunch date beforehand but I'm free after the session. Anyone wanna hang out?

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

did a voicoever for my friend Trish Basanyi. Hellooo, Trish!

Monday, September 28, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 9/28/09

This is my favorite time of year!

Baseball is about to dive into the playoffs, football has started, and the weather has become pleasant. The cliche is that fall is all about change and I love change. For those of you who know me, that sounds like a contradiction. I am a DEEPLY organized creature of habit who thrives on structure. However, I love it when things change. Sometimes I go out of my way just to enjoy change. I take different driving routes. I alter the order of my day-to-day activities. I often rearrange the books, pictures, and furniture in my home. Why do I do that? It's good for my brain. I strongly believe that your brain is a muscle and it can atrophy. It needs to be active and not get stuck in the same boring exercise routine.

This also applies to my voiceover career. I use an action plan where I check off daily, weekly, and monthly activities. I try new things every month. Obviously if something works I stick with it. The key for me is to make sure that piece of paper I look at every day has something fresh and interesting on it that forces me to use my brain in a different way.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Mix it up, people! If your life seems stale make it a point to do something different. Even little things like where you get your morning coffee or what radio station you listen to on the way to work. Your brain is hungry. Don't feed it corn flakes every time!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: It is better to wear out than rust out. Millard Fillmore

DISCUSS!: What can you do to make your day-to-day life more fun and interesting?
Quote of the Week: It is better to wear out than rust out. Millard Fillmore

Friday, September 25, 2009

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

had a great time recording a voiceover with my friend Trish Basanyi!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Check out this commercial I did a voiceover for! http://bit.ly/XAwCj

GKN Weekly Update 9/21/09

Happy Autumn!

Autumn is my favorite season of the year by far. It's a relief from summer (especially THIS summer!) and I get to wear jackets & sweatshirts, which I love. And of course watching the leaves turn and all that sentimental stuff.

So, last week I had my usual recording session at ETS in Princeton. This one had a bit of a twist. One of the producers makes sure I work with all of the new talent to show them the ropes. Of course I'm flattered and happy to help. The "new" talent I worked with was Jill Whelan. For those of you under the age of 35, she played Vicki Stubing on "The Love Boat", a very popular TV from the late 70's and early 80's. The producer told me who she was in advance and of course I got a bit excited, being an avid watcher of the show when I was a child. So when I got to the studio and met her, you know what I did? I introduced myself and we got to work. I didn't mention "The Love Boat" at all! We had a great time and she was a pleasure to work with.

So why didn't I say anything? No, it wasn't nerves! I figured that she hears it all the time and I felt that doting on her would be unprofessional. I think I got more pleasure out of not saying anything than I would have if I did. Call me crazy!

TIP OF THE WEEK: Most people just want to be treated like everyone else. Well, at least I hope so! Give people the courtesy and respect they deserve!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Sex is like pizza. Even if it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. Stephen Baldwin from Threesome

DISCUSS!: Have you ever had a celebrity encounter? How did you react?

BTW I've been getting some wonderful responses to the "Discuss!" portion of the GKN Weekly Update. I've enjoyed reading them! If you want to share your replies with the rest of the gang, please post them on the venue that you get this newsletter. If you reply to me directly, I'm reluctant to post them since I'm not sure if they're for public consumption. Thanks!
Quote of the Week: Sex is like pizza. Even if it’s bad, it’s still pretty good. Stephen Baldwin from Threesome

Sunday, September 20, 2009

is always grateful when clients send me a copy of the project I narrated!

Friday, September 18, 2009

had a voiceover session with Jill Whelan aka "The Love Boat's" Vicki Stubing today. What a nice lady!
I'm proud to be the Assistant director of this film! http://ping.fm/fXVZV
has a voiceover in Princeton today.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

did a voiceover for a flu PSA today in NYC. A national spot!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

has a voiceover session for the same client who hired me for my very first gig over thirteen years ago!

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

is always flattered when people ask for advice about the voiceover industry!
Thanks for all the birthday messages!

Monday, September 14, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 9/14/09

Hey there, back-to-schoolers!

I hope everyone is enjoying their new school clothes and Trapper Keepers.

Last week was pretty active. I landed more voice over gigs online and booked them from my home. I also had yet another wonderful recording session at ETS down in Princeton.

So, yesterday was my birthday. If you Facebookers are wondering why you didn't see it, it's because I forgot to make by birthday public so it didn't pop up on your Events. Oops! Feel free to post a belated birthday message on my wall. I'd love to hear from you!

This is one of the best birthdays I've ever had. I got to see a bunch of friends and got some very nice gifts. The best one was from three of my friends. They spent the day at my apartment redecorating! They re-covered the couch, painted the coffee table, and painted the entertainment unit. They're also going to hang up new pictures and frame some of my photos for display. I gotta tell you, what they did was pretty amazing! I'm very grateful to have such giving & caring friends.

TIP OF THE WEEK: I'm not very good at receiving compliments or gifts. What I've gotten a lot better at is looking them in the eye, smiling, and thanking them for their generosity and kind words. That's all they want. Make sure you do it every time!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: No lover is ever satisfied with the first smile of his mistress. William Henry Harrison

DISCUSS!: When was the last time you did something special for someone who didn't expect it?

Have a great week!
had a fantastic birthday yesterday, the best in a long time!

Friday, September 11, 2009

has a voiceover recording session in Princeton today.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

did a voiceover for Conduit courtesy of Eyeview Digital. Thanks, Idan!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Check out my latest blog entry! http://ping.fm/KE58Q

GKN Weekly Update 9/7/09

Happy Labor Day!

I hope everyone is enjoying their well-deserved time off. I, in the land of the self-employed, am doing my thing today. I already submitted three auditions this morning via Voice123 and will continue with my regular Monday routine.

Last week I recorded four voiceovers from home. For me, that's a lot! Two were from old clients and two were from a new client. I also had two auditions courtesy of Ingrid French, one for ING Savings Bank and one for the Neilsen Corporation. Both went very well, but I want to talk about the second one.

First of all, I had to wear a suit. Now don't get me wrong, I like dressing up, but I always feel like my chances of booking a gig go down when I do. I guess I feel like a schlub and all the other guys look so darn dapper. Also, I was auditioning for the role of a corporate executive. Did you know the average CEO is over six feet tall? People subconsciously equate height with confidence & power. Weird, huh? I'm 5'9" which is the average male height and I've never felt short but I did THAT day! Anyway, I did very well in the audition but I was mad at myself for weakening my own position based on my silly neuroses. Of course the ridiculous inner monologue disappears the second I walk in the room but I shouldn't psyche myself out like that.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Don't be your own worst enemy! Always set yourself up for success both physically and mentally. Be prepared, be positive, and have fun!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: We are what we imagine ourselves to be. Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

DISCUSS!: Have you ever auditioned for a part that you didn't feel right for? How did you do?
Quote of the Week: We are what we imagine ourselves to be. Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Can anyone do a good James Woods impression? It's for a voiceover gig.

Friday, September 4, 2009

booked four voiceovers from home this week. Since I mostly record in other studios, for me that's a LOT!
just got back from a Neilsen on-camera audition in NYC. Thanks, Ingrid!

Monday, August 31, 2009

just recorded the first of two commercial spots for a law firm.
Check out my latest blog entry at tomdheere.blogspot.com

GKN Weekly Update 8/31/09

Hey guys! Thank goodness it finally cooled off. My sweat glands almost turned inside out!

So, over the weekend I auditioned to be part of the Awareness Audiobooks talent roster in Bethlehem, PA. Everybody there was very nice. The audition process was pretty interesting:

First, I read for the part of a teenage boy. Since most of my VO work involves sounding like a high school or college student, no problem.

Then, I read for the part of an uncle and was asked to use my favorite accent. My favorite is Russian so I used that, no problem.

Then I had to read a high energy breakfast cereal commercial. That's not my strongest area so I flubbed a few lines. Eek. Problem?

Finally I was asked to do some improvisation (YES!). I was asked to be a caller for a radio talk show. "Talk about something you feel strongly about, like sports. what's your subject going to be?"

I said, "I feel that all people over the age of 85 should be bronzed."

A split second of stunned silence was followed by peals of laughter.

'Well, at least they'll remember me.', I thought, and dived into the improv. They loved it!

TIP OF THE WEEK: There is no such thing as a perfect audition and the people that give the best auditions don't always get the part. Be yourself, work within your limitations, and have fun!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entry upon the office and of my surrender of it. Martin Van Buren

DISCUSS!: When was the last time you thought you blew an audition and landed the part anyway?

Have a great week!
"As to the presidency, the two happiest days of my life were those of my entry upon the office and of my surrender of it." Martin Van Buren
has an on-camera audition for ING in NYC today.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

had an audition for Awareness Audio Books in PA today.

Friday, August 28, 2009

had a great time listening to Trish Basanyi speak at a networking event last night. Go Trish!

Thursday, August 27, 2009

is going to a networking event in Whippany, NJ tonight. The guest speaker is my friend Trish Basanyi!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

is headed to Princeton for another recording session. Two days in a row, yeah!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

is heading to Princeton to narrate a video for Mercer County.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Hi! To read my quarterly voiceover newsletter “The Rognog”, please go to http://ping.fm/oOndp
Check out my latest voiceover blog entry at http://ping.fm/xNoMk

GKN Weekly Update 8/24/09

And a happy & slightly more temperate Monday to you!

So last week I got back on the cold-calling wagon. For those of you who are new to the GKN, I HATE cold calls!!! Half the time the receptionist has absolutely no idea what you're talking about and when they do you get the contact person's voice mail and most of the time they never call you back. AUGH! Very frustrating. Despite all this, cold calling does have merit:

First of all, it keeps you in touch with the industry. When is the busy season, when is it slow, what are the current trends, etc. Second, nothing can replace a one-on-one personal interaction. That's when you have an opportunity to make a positive, lasting first impression. Third and most important, it works. I've developed my client base largely from this and it landed me my first ever gig, the infamous Genital Herpes PSA!

TIP OF THE WEEK: here are a few cold calling tips...
1. Look in places like the Yellow Pages or online directories for potential contacts.
2. Try to find the name of a person in the company to ask for.
3. Be positive, be polite, and have a question prepared in advance so you can get your intent across quickly and professionally.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: There's only one me, and I'm stuck with him. Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

DISCUSS!: Do you cold call? If so, what techniques do you use to increase your chances of success?

Have a great week!
Quote of the Week: There's only one me, and I'm stuck with him. Kurt Vonnegut Jr.

Friday, August 21, 2009

My voiceover cold-call positive response rate is about 10%. Is that a good number?

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

just made some cold calls to find voiceover work. What a feeling of accomplishment!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Check out my latest blog entry at: http://ping.fm/IPGGA

GKN Weekly Update 8/17/09

Hello and wishing you a cool Monday!

So last night for the first time I watched the film "Everything's Jake" starring Ernie Hudson. It's a charming film about a homeless man who helps another man who's new to the streets that is more than he appears to be. It was shot in 2000 but took years to find distribution. I was an extra for a restaurant scene that was shot in Manhattan. This was the first movie I was ever in. (BTW a big thanks to Judy Keller Casting, who STILL calls me in for auditions!)

I was sitting at a table in the restaurant with three or four other actors watching the controlled chaos. I remember being fascinated by the huge white trucks lining the block, the miles and miles of cables, the crew bustling about getting everything set up, and of course my fellow extras. We were there for hours and hours. All this for one shot of one of the characters looking out the window looking lost in thought. Until that day I had no idea what goes into making a movie.

Nine years later, I've done my share of TV, film, and theater as both cast and crew. I gotta tell you, every time I step on a set I'm as excited as that day on the set of "Everything's Jake".

TIP OF THE WEEK: What we do is fun and exciting and a rare chance to be a part of something special. If you are one of the few who are fortunate to experience this on a regular basis, always remember to embrace it, cherish it, and pass along your wisdom to that new actor sitting next to you with the deer-in-the-headlights look. Count your blessings!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Heaven will be no heaven to me if I do not meet my wife there. Andrew Jackson

DISCUSS!: Do you remember your first time on set or on stage? What was it like?
Quote of the Week: Heaven will be no heaven to me if I do not meet my wife there. Andrew Jackson

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Thanks to all my new connections on Facebook and LinkedIn!

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

is heading to Princeton for yet another wonderful voiceover session!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

is heading to Full House Productions in NYC for an e-learning recording session.

Monday, August 10, 2009

(link fixed) Check out the Adopt A Cat PSA I narrated at www.tomdheere.com/samples
check out the Adopt A Cat PSA I narrated at http://ping.fm/EeGGX

GKN Weekly update 8/10/09

Holy Hot Scorch-your-face-off Day! It is brutal out there.

Over the weekend I narrated a tutorial for Ebsco Host, an online library. I seem to get a lot of those. Online tutorials, I mean. Apparently, I have the right sound for it. Ten years ago that kind of job didn't even exist! Weird, huh?

Anyway, it got me thinking. What exactly is my sound? Why do I get mostly e-learning work and almost no commercial work? I'm not exactly sure. If I had to guess, I'd say I have an energetic, young, friendly, guy-next-door sound. But that sound should get you commercial work, right?

Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining. I love the work I do and the gigs I get. It's just that I would have never guessed that almost all my voice over work comes from the e-learning niche.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Find your sound. Not the one you want to have or think you have, YOUR sound!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: . . . as long as the heart beats, as long as body and soul keep together, I cannot admit that any creature endowed with a will has need to despair of life. Jules Verne

DISCUSS!: What is your sound? Is it different than what you thought it was when you started your voice over career?

Stay cool, my friends!
Quote of the Week: ". . . I cannot admit that any creature endowed with a will has need to despair of life." Jules Verne
donated clothes and my old computer to Goodwill today and bought "Lars and the Real Girl" on DVD for $2.19. Charity has many rewards!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

just narrated an online library tutorial for Ebsco Host!

Friday, August 7, 2009

http://ping.fm/9Lx1F Great review of me!
will be in NYC on Tuesday for a recording session at Full House Productions. I may be free for lunch...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

is going to Princeton for a recording session with a special guest: my mom! She's visiting from Florida. Say hello, everybody!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Monday, August 3, 2009

Check out my new blog post at tomdheere.blogpost.com!
Quote of the Week: The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money. James Monroe

GKN Weekly Update 8/3/09

Good evening!

I hope everyone stayed as dry as they could this weekend. We had some serious thunderstorms!

First I want to welcome our newest Good Karma Network members: Meghan Donathan, Veronica Alsina, Monica Delgado, Ydaiber Orozco, and Ken Weingart. We're glad to have you!

Last week was quite an adventure! I was tasked with casting four roles for three different voiceover projects. One of the roles was scrapped by the client, one was cast by a non-GKN member, and one has yet to be cast. The great news is that the fourth role was filled by our own Trish Basanyi! Congratulations on being selected.

I had a rather interesting on-camera audition last week for CNN. It was part scripted and part improvised. The first take went extremely well and was pretty funny. The second take was even funnier but my acting partner decided to use profanity. Even though it was used to great effect, I wasn't sure if it was appropriate. I had to run with it regardless, using the Golden Rule of Improvisation: "Yes, and...". For those of you who don't know, "Yes, and..." means that if you are performing an improvised scene and a fellow performer asks you or presents you with something, you are supposed to agree with it and build upon it.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Improvisation is a very tricky thing. Part of the magic is that nobody knows what will happen next. That means is has the potential to get out of control. Was the profanity too much? If it was onstage and it was a general audience i.e. there could be children out there it would be inappropriate. For a closed door on-camera audition? I guess it depends on the attitude of the viewer. My advice would be to avoid profanity, politics, religion, sex, etc. whenever possible. That is, unless you strike comedy gold. See the problem here...?

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: The circulation of confidence is better than the circulation of money. James Monroe

DISCUSS!: Have you ever been in an improv situation that got out of hand? How did you handle it?

Have a great week!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Tom has an audition at Watersign Creative in Lake Hiawatha, NJ. A three minute commute. Tough day!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Thanks to Jean-Marc Berne and HOLA for sending so many great voiceover talents my way!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Tom had an on-camera audition for CNN today. I love it when they let you improv!
Need a mid 30's female Spanish VO talent with a great smile for an on-camera closeup of her mouth for a medical video. Call me 973.216.3808

Monday, July 27, 2009

Check out our latest "Project T.E.R.R.A." blog entry at agent122blog.blogspot.com!
The mind is a strange and wonderful thing. I'm not sure it'll ever be able to figure itself out. "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"

GKN Weekly Update 7/27/09

And a happy albeit humid Monday to you!

Last week something great happened not once, not twice, but THREE TIMES that epitomizes the Good Karma Network. I was called upon to cast three different voiceover projects, two medical narrations and one e-learning project. I sent out a few blasts via the GKN as well as making some targeted phone calls to talents who I think would be right for the projects. I was able to submit many of you and the clients have been VERY happy with the quality of the submissions. On top of that, as a result of the search for appropriate talent we have three new members of the GKN: James Clamp, Nicola Barber, and Karen Jarman-Caruana. Welcome!

TIP OF THE WEEK: this is EXACTLY why I formed the Good Karma Network. Building relationships with your colleagues and clients is they key to success in our industry. Always be at your best during every phone call, audition, booking, and networking opportunity. Smile, don't complain, and don't explain!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: The mind is a strange and wonderful thing. I'm not sure it'll ever be able to figure itself out. Dr Dan Kaufmann, "Invasion of the Body Snatchers"

DISCUSS!: do you have a networking success story to share? Please do!
Thanks to everyone who submitted for those VO projects I posted. I'll let you know when I hear from the clients...!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Also looking for male in his 40's for a simulated coaching phone call VO spot. Non-announcery sound. Must live in NYC area. There is pay.
Tom is looking for a female British voiceover talent in her 30's with a great smile that lives in the NJ/NY area for a VO/on-camera spot ASAP!

Monday, July 20, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 7/20/09

Good evening! I'm penning this pretty late since I spent the day at my friend's store helping him with some SERIOUS re-merchandising (Hey Tom, can you move everything on this wall over to that wall?).

Got a short but good networking story for you. Last week I had not one, not two, but THREE voiceovers in the same studio in the same day for three different clients! The guys at Hagens Studio were kind enough to recommend me for an Ultimate Escapes online promo and a website tutorial for Deloitte. Working with them for over twelve years and developing positive relationships have yielded great results. Thanks guys!

TIP OF THE WEEK: Don't take your regular clients for granted. Always be appreciative of them and treat every gig like it's your first!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Conscience is the most sacred of all property. James Madison

DISCUSS!: Tell us a story about a time when a regular client came though for you...

Monday, July 13, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 7/13/09

And a happy Monday to you all! We had another nice weekend of weather to bask in. That makes two weekends in a row. Must be a record!

Today we're going to talk some more about networking...

I spent the weekend working at Dexcon 12 in Morristown, New Jersey. It's four days of playing board games, card games, video games, strategy games, role playing games, and LARPing! That's right, Live Action Role Playing, which is basically a bunch of people in a hotel banquet room dressed up in tights and beating each other senseless with foam rubber swords. Anyway, I was there working for my friend's store All In One Collectibles. I watched his vendor table and helped out here and there. So, what does this have to do with networking?

After someone relieved me from a shift of working at the All In One vendor table, I decided to look around at the other tables. In a "can't help but sniff the bad milk" kind of mood, I stopped at the foam rubber swords table just to see what all the fuss was about. Can you believe some of them run for $100?! Anyway, I started chatting with the vendor and the next thing you know, we're talking about the voiceover industry. It turns out that her mother is a former VO talent and she herself works for a video game company. On the side she's a concept artist and offered to help me design a logo for my business. Talk about finding opportunities in the strangest places!

TIP OF THE WEEK: Always keep your eyes open for networking opportunities. Make sure you have business cards with you at all times and are able to quickly articulate what you do and your recent work. You never know when it'll come up!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: This, to me, is the ultimately heroic trait of ordinary people; they say no to the tyrant and they calmly take the consequences of this resistance. Phillip K. Dick

DISCUSS!: Where is the oddest place you've networked? (keep it clean please!)

Monday, July 6, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 7/6/09

Happy Belated Fourth of July! I hope everyone had a fun, safe, and filling weekend. Mine was blissfully quiet. I haven't had a weekend like that in a while so I am all kinds of geeked up for the week!

Let's talk about auditioning today. Ingrid French Management got me an audition for a lead role in a feature film! I'm not sure I can say what it is, but the character I read for is a certain Great Dane of comic strip fame. I was asked to record the audition from home and email it to them so they can pass it along to the casting director. I read the whole script (which was fun!), the sides they wanted me to record, and a character description. The funny part is that they want a deep voice which is young, energetic, and eager at the same time. At first I thought it was a contradiction, then I read who they wanted it to sound like: Seth Rogan. Aha! He would be perfect for this role and I think that's a great call on the part of the casting agency.

However, I do NOT sound like Seth Rogan. My voice is young-sounding and energetic, but not deep at all, at least the voice I use to do the bulk of my gigs isn't. When I try to deepen my voice I sound like a ten-year-old kid making a crank call. So what do I do? I did two things. First, I made sure my vocal placement was in my stomach, not in my chest, neck, face, or head. It gave me a bit more resonance without trying to deepen my voice. Second, I made sure my pitch didn't go too high like it does when I record these high school/college roles I so often do. It took the top off my register so it made my voice sound deep-ish.

Will it get me the part? I have no idea, but doing those two things allowed me to focus on my acting and not on trying to sound like Seth Rogan.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Unless you're a gifted impressionist, don't try to sound like someone else. Sound like you!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: I’m a great believer in luck, and I find the harder I work the more I have of it. Thomas Jefferson

DISCUSS!: What kinds of adjustments do you make based on the roles you audition for?

Have a great week!

Monday, June 29, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 6/29/09

And a good morning to you all!

Let's get right into overcoming professional challenges. How do you leave your personal life at the door before an audition? Here's an example...

Last week I went to have my car's oil changed. The service guy discovered a copious amount of repairs that needed to be done to the point that it wasn't worth putting that much money into it since it has over 100,000 miles. They asked me what I wanted to do and I couldn't answer them because I had to leave for an audition.

On the way to the audition, a million different questions were running through my head about the car situation. At the same time, I'm trying to get in a good mental place for the audition. Not an easy task!

I get to the audition, sign in, fill out my size card, and before I get a chance to look at the script my name gets called. YIKES! Nobody in that room cares about my car dilemma, especially at this particular moment. Not that they're cold or uncaring, they just have a job to do and need to do it fast. What do I do? So I took all that nervous energy that I brought with me and made it work for me. I gave an energetic, focused audition and left the room feeling that I did good work.

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you're having a bad day and you have an interview, audition, booking, or important meeting, remember this: don't complain, don't explain, and smile!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: The truth is that there is nothing noble in being superior to somebody else. The only real nobility is in being superior to your former self. Whitney Young

DISCUSS!: How do you handle important professional events when you're having a bad day?

Monday, June 22, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 6/22/09

Happy Summer! It's about time we had a dry day.

First off I'd like to welcome our newest Good Karma Network member Ashley Pierce. We look forward to your contribution to the group!

Yesterday we finished shooting "Transition". I would like to thank all of the GKN members who donated their time and effort to the production:

Justine Topham
Braden Herrera
Jennifer Wos
David Youngblood
Maureen Rogalski
Dana Chiocchi

Great job, everybody!

And a quick "Thank You" to Ingrid French for sending me out on those Heineken and GNC auditions last week.

OK, let's talk about networking. "Transition" is a great example of how networking can reap great benefits. Just about everyone on the set took the time to get to know everyone else and made it a point to exchange contact information. Last night the business cards were flying! Throughout the shoot the cast & crew were discussing marketing, building websites, taking classes, and other projects they are working on. Nobody was showing off, bragging, or dropping names. They were just sharing their experiences, developing new relationships, and having fun!

TIP OF THE WEEK: If you are entering a situation where there are potential networking opportunities please remember the following:

IMPORTANT!!! Make sure that it is an appropriate environment to network. Sometimes it isn't and you don't want to offend anyone or embarrass yourself. Networking party, sure. Funeral, not so much.

Bring business cards, pens, or anything unobtrusive that has your contact info on it.

Don't bring head shots, resumes, demos, etc. Those can be sent along afterward.

To quote the great Dan Duckworth, don't complain and don't explain! Griping about the industry or why your demo isn't as good as it could be is not networking, it's kvetching and nobody wants to hear that.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn't go away. Phillip K. Dick

DISCUSS!: How do you know when to network and when NOT to network?

Monday, June 15, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 6/15/09

Happy Halfway-Through-June Day! I hope everyone enjoyed their soggy weekend.

First off I'd like to welcome new Good Karma Network members Edward Morgan and Sheryl Webb. We're glad to have you!

I originally envisioned the Good Karma Network to be a place where entertainment industry professionals can come together to share their accomplishments, seek advice, and find work. With that in mind, as of today I'm going to slightly change the focus of my weekly ramblings. I want to concentrate more on process: how to land gigs, how to network, and how to overcome other professional challenges.

I'm happy to talk about landing gigs. I've always shared my audition experiences, how they went, and what I think did or didn't get me the job. Some others are reluctant as they don't want to give away "trade secrets" or "share their Rolodex" for fear of losing gigs. I think that's a lot of crap. I'm all for sharing and if I tell a peer about an audition that we're both right for and they land it, more power to them! This is about karma, right?

When it comes to networking, the more we share our ideas and experiences, the better. In fact, when we do that, that IS networking!

You have to be careful when it comes to discussing professional challenges. Much of the time they involve revealing what goes on in the booth or on the set. You want to remain professional and not disclose information they may embarrass or offend your colleagues. This is a small world, you know. So on that note, I'll only talk about my own or shared challenges and none that involve "interpersonal issues".

In short, I want the GKN Weekly Update to be more about you. How we can help you find work. How we can help you build strong relationships in the industry. How we can help you overcome obstacles.

TIP OF THE WEEK: So yesterday was Day Three of shooting "Transition" and we had two rather large challenges to overcome: extras and weather. I've noticed over the years that these are recurring themes when producing small budget independent film. Extras tend to show up late in far smaller numbers than hoped for and often have to leave at different times for different reasons. Weather problems are obvious: it's cloudy when you want it to be sunny and it's sunny when you want it to be cloudy. Unfortunately, these challenges are almost impossible to control. So how did we get though the day? We stayed focused, positive, and realistic. There was no tension, everybody worked hard, and we kept things light. Major kudos to Doug Bollinger for selecting an outstanding crew and nurturing a positive culture!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Public virtue cannot come without private virtue. John Adams

DISCUSS!: How have you overcome challenges on the set or in the booth? Was there any particular lesson you recalled to get you though it?

Monday, June 8, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 6/8/09

Hi there!

Since I had such a crazy weekend I'm taking today off. The Transition shoot went extremely well and I have no sunburn or windburn to show for it, thank goodness! Here are pics of fellow GKN members Jennifer Wos and Maureen Rogalski who were a huge help:

TIP OF THE WEEK: SPF 30 Sunscreen, a baseball cap, and lots of water!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: The test of courage comes when we are in the minority. The test of tolerance comes when we are in the majority. Ralph W. Sockman

DISCUSS!: What is the best experience you've had on a shoot?

Have a great week!

Monday, June 1, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 6/1/09

Hello to you on this first day of June! It's nice out, isn't it? Too bad I can't go outside right now 'cause I'm busy talkin' ta you mooks!

So last week was another good one. Aside from the usual ETS gig, I had an on-camera audition for Heineken at Donna De Seta Casting courtesy of Ingrid French.

I got my hands on the Spanish on-camera Toyota commercial I did and here it is! (BTW I'm the pasty-looking one at the end of the spot)


Thanks to Dara Cirucci of Sid Paterson Advertising for passing it along!

I want to plug a new company that fellow GKN'er Steve Anthony started called Atlantic Audio Books. It's a venue to afford smaller producers and narrators the opportunity to sell audiobooks they have produced. Please visit his website and if you know of any producers or projects that might be right let him know.

TIP OF THE WEEK: So June has begun and I just printed out my new Monthly Action Plan. Most of it stays the same from month to month and I always try to inject new life into it by adding interesting projects. Finding new websites to find VO work, for example. Fleshing out my online social network profiles to garner interest is another. The Tip is to mix it up, people! Routines & structure are great but don't let them get monotonous. Move things around or look at them from a different angle to keep it fresh.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: The true delight is in the finding out rather than in the knowing. Isaac Asimov

DISCUSS!: OK, lets try that new title for a while. I'll ask a question and you post your answers. Here's the question: what was the last marketing idea you implemented and did it work?

Have a great week!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 5/26/09

Happy Memorial Day!

I hope everyone had a fun and safe weekend. I was invited to five parties but I could only make it to three of them. I can't be everywhere, you know!

BTW I wanted to welcome about a dozen new Good Karma Network members. Some are from the Yahoo! Group and some are from Facebook. Please stand up and say hello to the rest of the gang! Also, I'd love it if you guys would post your headshot/logo and website link here for all to see. This is all about networking, you know!

Speaking of networking, the film "Transition" now has a website, a Myspace Film profile, and a Facebook group. Please join to show your support. We have three more shoot days and if you've contacted me already about helping out you'll hear from me soon.

I also had VO gigs at ETS in Princeton and at Full House Productions for Oxford UK.

TIP OF THE WEEK: It's nice to get back to normal after a long weekend, isn't it? After a few days of being unproductive I start to feel, well, unproductive. I like jumping back into the mix and looking for new ways to find work. This time around I'm gonna spend more time on LinkedIn and Plaxo looking for work on a regular basis. I recently dumped a bunch of job sites because they have yielded no results. That's what you have to do once in a while. Change up your routine. Re-examine your habits and behavior so you don't get caught in a rut. Trust me, it's good for your brain and for your soul!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Few men have virtue enough to withstand the highest bidder. George Washington

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: I originally started this section to start a weekly dialogue but there have been very few responses to it. Maybe it's because you're doing what the title says and "thinking" about it instead of talking about it. Should I give it a new title to encourage discussion? Ask different questions? BTW don't think about it, tell me!

Have a great week!

Monday, May 18, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 5/18/09

(zzz...zzz...zzz...) Huh, what? Oh, hi! Sorry about that, I slept in today. Why? Because I'm POOPED! POOPED, I say! And sun burnt. And I'm a big ole wuss, so there you go.

Yesterday I was the 1st Assistant Director for the film "Transition". It was an amazing day! We shot at Holmdel High School in Central New Jersey for almost 12 hours. The cast and crew were a pleasure to work with.

I want to thank the director Doug Bollinger for bringing me in on this project. I also need to send out some serious props to fellow GKN members Justine Topham who supplied us with sound equipment and a great intern, Jennifer Wos as the 2ND AD, and David Youngblood as our Clapper Loader. All of you did an incredible job!!!

Last week seems so long ago after yesterday! Some good things happened, though...

I sent out a targeted postcard mailing to every agent and casting director I've met via Voiceovers Unlimited.

I sent out my quarterly newsletter "The Rognog" issue 17. I hope you enjoyed reading it!

I did the final batch of retakes for those nine sci-fi short stories I narrated for Infinivox.

I had a very nice ESL recording session at Full House Productions and got to work with fellow GKN member Ollie Wyman. Good for you, good FOR you.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Yesterday was very gratifying on many levels. I was flattered that Doug would ask me to be the 1st AD. It's a hard job to run the set but everybody was so nice it was pretty easy! I was particularly happy at the amount of responses I got from fellow GKN members willing to pitch in. It was shocking! It proved to me how powerful marketing, networking, and developing strong relationships with your peers really are. And it yet again affirmed what wonderful people I've had the pleasure to meet and work with over the years. Remember, it's not who you know in this business, it's how you treat who you do know.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: To avoid situations in which you might make mistakes may be the biggest mistake of all. Peter McWilliams, Life 101

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: When you go an audition or a booking, do you start conversations? Do you make sure to bring business cards? Do you thank everyone for their time and the hard work they put in?

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 5/11/09

Happy Mother's Day!

I hope all you mommies out there had a great day and that you got all of the affection & gifts that you so rightfully deserve. My mom is doing the retired thing in Florida but I did get to spend time with my favorite little girl in the universe, ASHA!!! Insert gratuitous adorable pic here...

So last week I had two more recording session for ETS in Princeton and a great production meeting for the film "Transition". What's that you say? You'd like to hear more about the film and get involved? Well, okay...

My good friend Doug Bollinger has asked me to be the 1st Assistant Director (1st AD) for the SAG short film "Transition" which he is directing. It's a true story about a high school lacrosse player who has beaten cancer and is trying to get his life back. It will be shot in a few locations in Central New Jersey on the following dates:

Sunday May 17
Sunday June 7
Sunday June 14
Sunday June 21

The film is fully cast but there are a few crew roles that need to be filled. They are:

* Hair/Makeup (May 17th, 7am-7pm, June 7th, 8am-8pm)
* Location Sound (all dates)
* Script Supervisor (all dates)
* 2nd AD/Key PA (aka my assistant/extras wrangler) (all dates)

There is no pay but credit, copy, meals, and travel compensation will be provided. Please contact me ASAP if you are interested and available. Don't hesitate to ask questions. If you can work some of the dates but not all of them for the job you're interested in, that's fine. Feel free to write back or call me at 973-216-3808. This is DEFINITELY a project worth being involved in.

Here's more great news! the Radio Repertory Company of America (www.rrca.com) had released their latest sci-fi adventure "Anne Manx and the Empress Blair Project". I've listened to the first half and it's a romp! Thanks to Angelo Panetta for casting me. Order your copy today!

TIP OF THE WEEK: So my friend Carly (mother of the world-famous Asha) recommended the book "Blink" by Malcom Gladwell to me so I started reading it. Great stuff! It's about the power of snap-judgements and first impressions. There is also a reference to an interesting website: www.implicit.harvard.edu.

Go there and take the test!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: I finally figured out the only reason to be alive is to enjoy it. Rita Mae Brown

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: How often do first impressions help or hinder you? What do you do to try and make a good first impression?

Monday, May 4, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 5/3/09

Happy May! A bit of a wet start to the month, ay? Isn't that only supposed to happen in April?

Last week was a bit light so this'll be short. The only in-person audition I had was a VO spot for Tecate Light. Funny script! While there I bumped into fellow GKN member Mike Rivera Smith who played Kevin the Cat in that Cartoon Network pilot I did. It was great seeing you, Mike, and I wish you continued success in South Pacific at Lincoln Center!

I also had a great conference call with my fellow Project TERRA creators. The real animation has begun!

Since last week was light I picked up a copy of the Ross Reports so I can do a targeted mailing of every agent & casting director I've met over the years at Voiceovers Unlimited. Did you know the Ross Reports is now called the Call Sheet and it's $10.50 an issue? Thanks to Steve Caputo for directing me to the Barnes and Noble in Paramus!

TIP OF THE WEEK: Wow, my first slow week in months! It was bound to happen. Good thing I have my Action Plan to keep me on track. That's how I got inspired to do the new targeted mailing. It's my go to, the thing that keeps me grounded. Call it nerdy, anal, micromanaging, or what have you, it certainly works for me!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Rule of the Great: When people you greatly admire appear to be thinking deep thoughts, they probably are thinking about lunch. Anonymous

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: What keeps you grounded, if anything? Family, a desire to succeed, the need to eat?

Have a great week!

Monday, April 27, 2009

GKn Weekly Update 4/27/09

And a very happy and WARM Monday to you! Can you believe this beautiful weather? For the first time in many weeks I had a Sunday all to myself with no plans. So what did I do yesterday? I helped myself to a big ole' heaping spoonful of NOTHING. It was bliss!

Last week contained the usual variety of fun tasks, such as another recording session for ETS in Princeton. I also did a marathon retake session for Infinivox. I had five short stories worth of retakes to do and it took about 2 1/2 hours. Thanks to Siara at Panetta Studios for making it a bearable experience!

I had two in-person auditions as well. One to be the voice of Rhapsody, courtesy of Ingrid French, and one to be an on-camera host for Restaurant Passion.com, courtesy of Craig's List. That's right, Craig's List! Don't forget to use Crazed List or Search Tempest so you can job hunt on multiple lists at the same time.

TIP OF THE WEEK: Once again, it has been proven to me that there is no substitute for experience. When I went on the Restaurant Passion audition, after I did my reading they asked me three questions: what is your favorite wine and why, which is your favorite restaurant and why, and what writing experience do you have? Fortunately, I have enough experience & knowledge in these areas to answer those questions quickly and (I hope) competently. I don't know if I'll get the gig, but it's nice to know I was prepared!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: (this is the last Lincoln quote, I promise!) Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any other. Abraham Lincoln

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Did you ever have to "fake it" in an audition? Lie about your experience or your skills? Did you get the part?

Have a great week!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 4/21/09

Hey folks! Sorry I didn't post this yesterday but I had a long & crazy day. I'm also feeling a bit under the weather and I'm not sure if it's allergies or one of those pesky Spring colds because of the yo-yo-like weather. I'll try not to sneeze in your direction...

Apart from the recording session I had with ETS, the highlight of the week was recording a VO spot for American Express & Delta Airlines. It's part of their joint "Pay With Miles" promotion. It will be on both of their websites pretty soon. Thanks to Ingrid French for sending me out on the audition and to Marro Associates for casting me!

Check out this pic of Project TERRA villain Angela Miller!

Teddy is doing an amazing job, isn't she?

TIP OF THE WEEK: This past Saturday I went to Asha's first birthday party.

Isn't she adorable? What was so interesting about the party is that it was one of those "Worlds are colliding, Jerry!" situations where a bunch of mutual friends that know of each other but never met finally did. It was cool! So what's my point? Actually, I don't have one. I just love it when stuff like that happens. Hey, I can't be expected to supply epiphanies every damn week, can I?

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Most folks are as happy as they make up their minds to be. Abraham Lincoln

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: When was the last time you examined your systems of thought? Have you ever thought about why you think the way you do? Your brain follows the path of least resistance, you know...

Monday, April 13, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 4/13/09

Happy Passover AND Happy Easter!

Man, I love this time of year. It's awesome to eat TWO big honkin' holiday meals in one week.

April seems to have slowed down just a tiny bit but there's still plenty to talk about!

Last week I had an on-camera audition for a casino courtesy of IFM. The cool part is that it shoots in Chile! Since it's been more than 48 hours I assume I'm not getting the callback but it sure was fun thinking about flying down to Chile. The only bad part is that I had to renew my passport and expedite it for $175!!! I'm considering the fee my Lazy Tax and writing it off as a business expense. A word to the wise, folks: renew your passport nice & early so you don't get hosed with the expediting fee.

Later that day I was in an on-camera commercial for Hillside Toyota. Believe it or not, I was cast for the Spanish version! I had to say "Nobody, now way, no how." in Spanish. Stay tuned to Telemundo! BTW they will post it on You Tube so I'll send you the link. A special thanks to Ingrid French Management for sending me to the audition and to Sid Paterson Advertising for casting me.

The other good news is that I got word that I was cast for an online VO spot for Amex. Actually it's for an airline frequent flier program that partnered up with Amex for the promotion. I'll let you know how it goes!

I got clips of my VO work for that Swiss Air radio spot I did a few months ago as well as the scene I did for "The Tin Woodsman of Oz". Go to the Samples Page of my website to check them out.

TIP OF THE WEEK: I found two sites you may want to check out: Talent Rover and Talent Hub. Both are entertainment industry networking sites where you build a profile and poke around for networking opportunities & jobs. I just joined them last week and they seem okay. I'll let you know if I get any good leads...

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues. Abraham Lincoln

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Have you found any new or interesting websites lately? They can be industry-related or just fun. Please share!

Monday, April 6, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 4/6/09

And a happy albeit yucky day weather-wise to you!

So, remember last week when I said it seemed like things were getting back to normal? Yeah, not so much...

Monday was a retake session for Infinivox. I fixed boo-boos and room noise for three of the nine stories I narrated.

Tuesday was a VO audition for Subway at House Productions courtesy of IFM.

Wednesday was actually kind of slow which meant it was catchup day which in turn made it not-so-slow. Interesting how that works out...

Thursday I had a Heineken print ad audition in NYC that I landed from Craig's List, then I had an audition for Hillside Toyota at Xist Talent in Caldwell courtesy of IFM. I had to say "nobody" in both English and Spanish many, many times.

Friday was nuts! I had a morning recording session for ETS in Princeton. Then I had an afternoon on-camera shoot for a new invention called the Genesis Combustion Enhancement System. It was a sales DVD and I was the spokesperson. I had never used a teleprompter before but it was the kind that was directly in front of the camera lens so it was a lot easier then I thought it would be. I was able to get out of there in time to make dinner reservations all the while driving through that freaking monsoon we had. Fun day!

But wait, there's more! On Sunday I attended an open house at Watersign Creative, a recording studio in Lake Hiawatha. They're celebrating their 7th anniversary so it was a good opportunity to catch up with the owner Guy Parker and Julie. Networking on the weekend in the town I grew up in. Weird!

TIP OF THE WEEK: the final aspect of the five areas of success in our industry is Health. This includes mental as well as physical health. I try to exercise at least four times a week. I do pushups, situps, crunches, and about 15 minutes on the Mini-Step. Some weeks are better than others! I also read Men's Health online once a week to get tips about nutrition, exercise, etc.

As to mental health, I consider working on Project TERRA a means to that end. It's my passion and a great way to distract me from anything going on that's not too much fun to think about.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. Herm Albright (Thanks for the quote, Amanda!)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: What do you do to keep your body and mind in shape?

Have a great week!

Monday, March 30, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 3/30/09

Howdy do! I hope everyone had a lovely weekend. I got to see my niece Asha again! She's going to have her first birthday in a few weeks. I can't believe it's been an entire year!

Anyway, last week was another crazy one but things seem to be getting back to normal. Here's the rundown...

On Monday I finished narrating "Five Thrillers". This one was definitely my favorite to read!

On Tuesday I had a recording session for Oxford UK at Full House Productions. This time I got to narrate the test instead of play the student. Thanks to Leon Chambers for giving me the occasional grownup role! I also had a VO audition for College Board courtesy of IFM.

Wednesday I narrated "Turing's Apples". I had to do the whole thing with a British accent, narration and all. That was hard. That was the last one! Now all that's left are the retakes.

Thursday I spoke at the National Broadcasting Society's Career Focus event at their national convention in NYC. I got to talk to college students from all over the nation about the voiceover industry. It was fun! Thanks to Scott Alboum for inviting me.

Friday was an ESL recording session for ETS at Hagens Studio in Princeton. Hi Carrie!

TIP OF THE WEEK: So, I was just on the Voiceover bulletin Board and the virtue of social networking sites came up. Since they can be used as a marketing tool and that's been our "Tip of the Week" subject as of late, I'll wrap it up with my post on that thread:

"Social networking sites are like tools in your garage. If you go to Sears and buy a bunch of tools that you display all pretty like for the neighbors to see but you never use them, what's the point? However, if you use them to enhance your internet presence, do some online networking to complement, not replace the real thing (cold calls, conventions, etc.), and have something of substance to say (a good blog), then they can be very powerful. The tough part is figuring out which ones to use, what you should do with each of them, and how much time should you dedicate to them. It's different for everybody..."

In other words, joining them all but not doing anything with them doesn't help. It's also easy to get sucked into them and waste a lot of time. Use them to distinguish yourself, brand yourself, and become an active contributor.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it. Abraham Lincoln

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: How much time do you spend on social networking sites? Do they enhance your career or are they a time-waster?

Have a great week!

Monday, March 23, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 3/23/09

Wassup my homies?

I'm exhausted (I just got out of a six-hour recording session) so I'll keep this one short. Last week was as crazy as the week before!

Monday I finished narrating "The Ray Gun: A Love Story".

Tuesday I had an Amex commercial audition in NYC courtesy of IFM.

Wednesday I had a recording session in NYC for Pearson Asia and I narrated "Fixing Hanover".

Thursday I started narrating "Shoggoths In Bloom".

Friday I finished narrating "Shoggoths", started narrating "Five Thrillers", and had a recording session for ETS in Princeton.

I also managed to squeeze in a small dubbing session for a production company in Berlin.

TIP OF THE WEEK: We were talking about Marketing, right? Here's a nugget: do everything you can to distinguish yourselves from your competitors. What do I do? Why, the Good Karma Network, of course!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: If I had eight hours to chop down a tree, I'd spend six hours sharpening my ax. Abraham Lincoln

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: What makes you stand out from your colleagues? What special service or asset do you bring to the table?

Have a great week!

Monday, March 16, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 3/16/09

Happy Saint Patrick's Day!

I hope everyone had (or will have) a mighty green time. I went to my friend Jim's on Saturday for a BBQ and I spent Sunday with my friend Carly and the love of my life Asha!

Last week was the busiest voiceover week I ever had and it went a little something like this:

Monday was a recording session for ETS in Princeton.
Tuesday I narrated the sci-fi short story "Exhalation" for Infinivox and a few lines for an animated medical narration in Spanish (no I don't speak Spanish but they trusted me. Thanks to Shellyne Brown for helping with the translation!)
Wednesday I narrated the story "The Dream of Reason".
Thursday I narrated the first 20 pages of "The Ray Gun: A Love Story".
Friday I had another recording session for ETS.

Whew! This week will be almost as busy. I need a nap...

TIP OF THE WEEK: Let's get back to the five areas of success in our industry, shall we? Today's subject is Marketing.

The arts tend to get hit hard during economic slumps this like this so finding acting, VO, modeling, and crew work is becoming increasingly more difficult. Strangely enough, so far 2009 is the best year I've ever had! Why? Well, my main clients have been sending more work my way and I landed five gigs from new clients. Some of it is just a coincidence. Some of it came from being as aggressive as hell for the past few months. When I had my major slump in November and the kidney stone bills started rolling in, I got seriously motivated. I started making those dreaded cold calls again, I published another quarterly newsletter, and I put the Good Karma Network on Facebook. Did it help? Who knows?

Marketing is a big ole mystery. It's a gamble, a crap shoot. Nobody knows how it really works and what works for one person doesn't necessarily work for another. What I do know is that you need to work hard to find a system that works for you and keep at it EVERY DAY. Next week I'll talk about what I do on a weekly, monthly, and quarterly basis to market myself.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: A struggling Voice Over has a massive ego completely out of control. A successful Voice Over has a massive ego, for the most part, under control. Philip Banks

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: What do you do to market yourself in your field? Do you have any success stories to share?

Have a great week!

Monday, March 9, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 3/9/09

Happy, um...second week of March? I looked at my planner and I got nuthin'...

I hope everyone enjoyed the first reasonably warm weekend of the year out here on the East Coast. I played in a poker tournament (yes, with real people in a real room with real money) and I came in third place! Whoo hoo!!!

Last week was the start of a big ole honkin' VO project for me. I will narrate nine more sci-fi audio short stories for Infinivox. Once again, Allan Kaster has been kind enough to cast me to read some very high quality scripts. I've narrated only one so far so this is going to be a busy week!

I also had two recording sessions for ETS in Princeton last week. They're keeping me busy, too!

A couple of quick website announcements:

For those of you who use "Craig's Helper" to find work it's now called "Search Tempest". The new URL is www.searchtempest.com.

Also, Variety's networking site "The Biz" is now called "Variety's Media Careers". The new URL for that one is www.varietymediacareers.com. Update your bookmarks accordingly!

TIP OF THE WEEK: Someday I'll get back to focusing on the five areas of success in our industry but stuff just keeps coming up!

I got two very interesting responses to the last Tip of the Week. The first was a request to write an article exploring technology & manners/professionalism/etiquette. It's a fascinating subject that I will be happy to dive in to. I'll let you know when the article is posted. Great idea, John!

The other response was a personal apology to me for a recent lack of communication concerning a particular subject. Out of respect I won't go into any further detail, but I must say how touched I was. Everybody's lives are so hectic and we get so caught up in what we're doing & feeling that sometimes we lose sight of the world around us. Which brings me to this: the key to any successful relationship, whether it be personal or professional, is communication. Take the time to talk, even if you have to say something the other person doesn't want to hear. Everyone is better off in the long run.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: (On Richard Nixon) Richard Nixon is a no-good, lying bastard. If he ever caught himself telling the truth, he'd tell a lie just to keep his hand in. Harry S Truman.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Is there anyone in your life, professionally or personally, who you've been avoiding? Are you protecting their feelings or yours?

Have a great week!

Monday, March 2, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 3/2/09

Happy Eastern Orthodox Lent! Yeah, I looked at my planner again. And don't forget that Daylight Savings Time is on Sunday. Spring forward, right?

A couple of fun & interesting things happened on my end last week:

I had a Samsung VO audition in NYC courtesy of Ingrid French.

I landed a great gig at CKP Media. I recorded a radio commercial spot for Swiss Air with none other than fellow GKN member Liz DeNesnera! We've been buddies for a few years but this was the first time I got to work with her and it was a pleasure. Thanks as always to CKP's Herbie and Tony for thinking of me!

We had a lot of great Project TERRA stuff happen last week. First, we have some great new pics of Agent 122. For some reason, Blogger won't let me post images any more so all I can do is ask you to follow this link to the Project TERRA MySpace Profile or check out the Project TERRA Facebook Group to see them there. Great stuff, David!

We also have some images of the Sani-Mech, a little robot who plays a huge role in the series. We'll post them soon. Kudos to Teddy for the design!

I'm also working on my second draft of the Project TERRA screenplay. We thought we could just string together all the Episodes of Season One to make it but it doesn't quite work. I don't have to do any rewrites, I just need to rearrange the order of the scenes so it matches the flow of a feature film. It's a very interesting experience!

TIP OF THE WEEK: the great thing about modern communication technology is that now you can be rude in so many new and exciting ways! Not only can you not return or even take phone phone calls of people you don't want to be bothered with (yeah caller ID!), now you can ignore text messages, emails, wall posts, and even IM's. Isn't it grand?

If you have a preferred mode of communication, take the time to let everyone know what it is. For example, I HATE text messaging. If you want to talk to me, talk to me! You have the phone in your hand, call me! But I would never ignore a text message. It's just plain rude. Here's another example. I'm online all day since I work from home. Sometimes I'm too busy (or just not in the mood to chat) so I make sure my AOL, MSN Messenger, Skype, and Facebook are all marked offline, away, etc.

Here's my point: rude is rude, unprofessional is unprofessional regardless of the medium. If you have multiple ways of being contacted, please use them (or not use them) in a courteous manner.

BTW this isn't necessarily a rant or the result of a recent experience. This is just something I've noticed over the past couple of years...

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: (On Calvin Coolidge) Mr. Coolidge's genius for inactivity is developed to a very high point. It is not an indolent inactivity. It is a grim, determined, alert inactivity, which keeps Mr. Coolidge occupied constantly. Columnist Walter Lippmann, 1926

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: How do you prefer to stay in touch with your clients? Is it the same way you contact your friends?

Have a great week!

Monday, February 23, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 2/23/09

Happy Mexican Flag Day and Ash Wednesday! My planner is sitting right next to me and that's what I saw. Deal with it!

I hope everyone had a great weekend. I had a crazy one at the 2009 Dreamation Convention in Morristown, NJ. My friend Mike needed help running his All In One Collectibles table. This place was filled with very, erm, interesting people. All I have to say is if you don't know what LARPing is, you're better off!

Anyway, let's start off with an announcement (bump bump ba da dum!): the Good Karma Network is now on Facebook! I started the group last week and within a few days over 110 members joined, even more than on the Yahoo Group. Woo hoo!!! Thanks to all of you who joined and I look forward to your contribution to the group. BTW the portals that people use to be a part of the GKN include Blogger, Yahoo, Facebook, MySpace, and Nextcat.

For you new GKN'ers, every week I share my professional (and occasionally personal) experiences from the previous week. Then I post a "Tip of the Week" which is usually derived from said experiences. After that you get to bask in the "Quote of the Week" (a fan favorite). BTW it's been over two years and I haven't used the same quote twice! If you have any particularly profound or fun quotes please email them to me and I'll be happy to feature them in an upcoming post. I always finish with "Food For Thought", an open-ended question derived from the "Tip of the Week". I like to give you guys something to chew on!

So, here's what happened last week:

I had an audition for Shockwave.com in NYC courtesy of Ingrid French (she's my manager). While I was getting ready for the audition a guy walked over to the desk I was sitting at and asked the girl there if any voiceover talents were coming in because he need to cast a different project fast. Being the shy person I am I said "How ya doing?" The next thing I know, he casts me! I recorded it the next day and got paid on the spot. It was for Field Share, a medical blog. A special thanks to Peter Sasowsky for casting me. Talk about serendipity!

I attended the Media Communication Association International (MCA-I) North Jersey chapter monthly meeting. The guest speaker talked about how to get the most out of using Linked In, a professional networking site. I picked up some good tips and got to see fellow GKN members Paul Payton, Liz DeNesnera, Melissa Ex, and a few others. If you're looking to network and learn about the industry, I strongly recommend it. Go to their website to see if there's a chapter near you!

TIP OF THE WEEK: I'm really excited about having all these new members of the Good Karma Network. It's very satisfying to see something you care about grow and touch people in a positive way. It's actually gotten some people paying work! The only way that happens is when you take the first step and you did by joining. That means you're participating in the advancement of your career. Trust me, nobody else is going to do that but you. Not your teachers, not your coaches, not even your agents. Only you can make those cold calls. Only you can join those networking sites. Only you can seek out and nurture those relationships that will get you in front of the right people. Looks and talent aren't everything, my friends. It takes action!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: The story of the human race is the story of people selling themselves short. Abraham Maslow

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: What one thing can do this week to move yourself closer to success?

Have a great week!

Monday, February 16, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 2/16/09

Happy President's Day!

Remember that there's no mail today. I always forget!

I hope everyone enjoyed their Valentine's Day. I spent it with friends and babysitting my niece Asha. Not terribly romantic but I was with people I care about and that's what counts.

Last week was another good one...

I had an on-camera audition for ESPN courtesy of IFM.

I had another VO session for ETS in Princeton.

I've been added to a brand new talent roster. Di's Creative Edge uses voiceover talent for corporate and e-learning projects and they've just set up a talent roster on their website. I'm the first! If you want to join, go to their website and apply. Tell Diane I sent you!

TIP OF THE WEEK: Let's continue to examine the five aspects of success. I want to wrap up the Technique segment by talking about your colleagues. It's very important that you know what your peers are doing so you can keep up with current trends and so you can compare the quality of your work with theirs. One thing I do every week is visit other talents' websites & blogs and listen to their demos. How do their websites look? Are they clean, informative, and professional looking? Are their blogs engaging and solicit comments? How would your rate their demos? Are they concise and showcase their talent? How does their technique compare to yours?

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Love is the triumph of imagination over intelligence. H. L. Mencken

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Do you ever check out your competition?

Have a great week!

Monday, February 9, 2009

GKN Weekly Update 2/9/09

Well, hello there! I have too much stuff to share today so let's get to it...

I was at the New York Comic Con all day Saturday with the Comic Book Mania crew.

That's Victoria the host, Bobby the owner of CB Mania, and Damian the cameraman. Alas, I did not do any interviews. The lovely Victoria did them all but who would you rather talk to, me or her? My vote is her! I did get press access to everything the Con had to offer which was pretty cool. Victoria actually interviewed me on-camera about Project TERRA! I'll post the footage ASAP. I also got to meet Mark Sheppard of Battlestar Galactica. He plays the lawyer. Mark was a lot of fun to talk to! He was promoting the video game Conduit, a Wii first person shooter. It looked amazing! I also ran into some friends from my days back at the New York Renaissance Faire. If you want to see more pics go to my MySpace profile at www.myspace.com/rognog123.

We now have Project TERRA merchandise! Check out the prototype mugs...

We have T-shirts, too. As soon as the online store opens, I'll let you know. It would mean a lot to me if you help promote our show by sporting some nifty duds & mugs. Please show your support!

I landed a new client! William R. Fisher III Studios hired me to play a small role for their latest video game "Temple of Zojir". I play an old Cockney fisherman. There should be more roles to come!

I also did some inserts for Touch Screen Magic's MEVAS narrative. I booked the gig a few months ago but the clients made some revisions to the script. The gig so nice they paid me twice!

BTW I posted a bunch of casting sites in the GKN "Links" section. Let me know if you get any work from them...

TIP OF THE WEEK: I had a nice chat with a fellow GKN member who is currently shooting a film. It got me thinking that there are over 100 members of the GKN on the Yahoo Group alone and there must be some wonderful job-related stories to share. I know that we would all benefit greatly from hearing about them! Tell us about your last audition, your last gig, your successes, your failures. We can can learn from everybody that is a part of this group. Don't be intimidated by your lack of experience or if you're having trouble finding work. Please share!

QUOTE OF THE WEEK: He who will not reason is a bigot; he who cannot is a fool; and he who dares not is a slave. Sir William Drummond

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Do you have any fun (or not-so-fun) stories to share? What the best time you had on a set? The worst time?

Have a great week!